Should You Be Using Pinterest For Your Job Search?

by Rich DeMatteo on March 6, 2012 · 8 comments

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Sometime around a year and a half ago, I was minding my own business when my sister popped me with a gchat message. . . .

Have you heard of Pinterest?  I just invited you to check it out!

She went on to tell me that it was growing quickly in the fashion world, and being that she is in fashion, you can understand how she came to learn about Pinterest.  While I visited the site often after my sister pointed it out, I never gained a ton of interest in using it for myself, and up until these last few months, Pinterest hadn’t caught on with the normal, every-day  social media user.

Things have changed.  Here are some facts from an infographic about Pinterest on Mashable:

  • Users spend on average 15.8 minutes pinning at one time.  This compares to about 12 minutes on Facebook
  • 68.2% of users are Women
  • 1.36 million visitors per day
Now keep in mind, these are just numbers, and Facebook users certainly spend more time overall than they do on Pinterest, but it’s a social channel that needs to be watched by both brands and individuals.
If you’re looking for a guide on how to use Pinterest, well, this isn’t your resource.  Here are a few links I suggest:

Should you be using Pinterest for your job search?

Pinterest is absolutely a monster in the PR industry.  Honestly, it’s hard to find a PR girl/guy in college that isn’t constantly blogging about it.    Do you know who also loves Pinterest?  Foodies, fashionistas, social media nerds like myself, big brands, mothers, professional sports teams, and the list just keeps going…

A picture/video driven social tool is powerful.  People love visuals.  People also love cool/techie/nerdy terminology, so using the word “Pin” gets people goofy.

So I get it, there’s a great deal of love surrounding Pinterest.  But does this mean it’s a tool that you should add to your job search?

The short answer:  It depends

The Long Answer:  Take a long hard look at yourself before you begin using Pinterest as a job search tool.  Here are some questions to ask before you jump in:

  • Do leaders in your industry use  Pinterest or other social technologies to promote themselves?
  • Would your industry ever accept a blog, video resume/cv, or portfolio as part of an application?
  • Is your industry picture driven or visual?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, then maybe you want to consider Pinterest for your job search.  Here are a few industries that are a given for possibly considering it:
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media/Blogging
  • Graphic Design
  • Journalism
  • Fashion
  • Tourism/Travel
  • Culinary
  • Performing Arts
When it comes down to it, you need to spend most of of your time where you’ll receive the most benefit.  Honestly, my money is always going towards Linkedin as the most beneficial and powerful tool for job seekers, but if you can spend a minimal amount of time on Pinterest, I assume it won’t hurt you.
Just one more thing…

Do you remember stretch armstrong?   No?  Yes?  Mr. Armstrong was a popular toy for the kiddies in the 80’s and 90’s that would allow the youngster to actually stretch his arms and legs.  When they were done torturing poor Stretch, his limbs would just about return to their original location.

What you want to avoid is becoming exactly like Stretch Armstrong in your job search.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of new online/social tools that can be turned into a job search tool.   Your goal is to spend the most time where you’ll receive the most benefit.

Don’t spend a great deal of time on each and every new tool or trend.  There’s no need to spread yourself too thin and stretch out like Mr. Armstrong.

Seriously, it can be very painful.



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